Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Experts with Whom I like to Consult

Although I have above average financial knowledge, I believe it is important have access to experts to confirm my understanding and to provide additional insight. Here are some examples of financial matters where we consulted with experts, when making decisions.
  • Investment - We use professional advisors for a portion of our savings. Our financial advisor is our primary expert. He provides guidance on which investment managers to choose for our portfolio. We make the final decision.

    We pay a fee of 1% of managed assets for this service, which I consider reasonable because it is comparable to the fees charged by an actively managed mutual fund.

  • Retirement - Our financial advisor also provides analysis of readiness for retirement, Roth IRA conversions, Social Security and other retirement related financial aspects. This was particularly helpful in answering whether we had saved enough, when considering early retirement in 2007. In addition, they have been helpful in developing Roth IRA conversion strategies.

    The cost of this service is included in the 1% fee we pay for our managed accounts.

  • Tax - With all the constantly change tax laws, it can be difficult to know all the relevant tax benefits when filing a return. That's why I decided to take a seasonal job in the tax preparation field, to educate myself about maximizing my own refund on our tax return. I take about 60 to 100 hours of training each year. In addition, I have access to numerous experts on the tax code.

    The cost of accessing experts is free since I work for a company in the tax preparation field.

  • Real Estate - I keep in touch with the real estate agent that sold our first home and helped us by our second home. Most recently, she provide me with the necessary appraisal information that helped us reduce the property taxes on our home.

    No cost, but I do give the agent my business when buying or selling property.

  • Legal - Some financial matters are also legal matters. For example, when I decide to form a limited liability corporation (LLC), I consulted with a lawyer and had him file the necessary documents. In addition, I asked for and he provided the protocols to ensure the LLC was a valid entity.

    At this time, I hire an attorney only on an as needed basis.
  • Although I am pretty good at assessing most of my financial situations, I still like to get the opinion, guidance and advice of an expert in the field. That way I can confirm what I think I already know, and learn about areas in which I may be unaware.

    For more on The Practice of Personal Finance, check back every Wednesday for a new segment.

    This is not financial, investment, real estate, tax or legal advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

    Copyright © 2010 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

    1 comment:

    The Debt Darling said...

    In the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, the author states that in order to grow financially, you have to have a team of experts. It looks like you have that. He even states to not manage your own bills, expenses, and money. To hire an accountant to do this, so you can focus on making money. It's an interesting concept. I see the importance in having experts to guide you through unfamiliar territory especially when it comes to taxes and real estate!